- A Ring to Rule Them All.
- Luke Scull.
- 20 pages.
- Fantasy / Short Story.
- My Rating: Hell Yeah Book Review.
A week inside a wicker cage will break a regular man. A month will push the bravest to the very edges of their sanity.
For Brodar Kayne, it has been almost a year since he was forced inside the fiendish prison. His crime? To defy his master’s command to massacre a town and people he once loved.
Even a year trapped in a cage could not break the spirit of the legendary Sword of the North. But having just watched his wife burned alive on a pyre, death would now be a merciful release.
However, Kayne’s most loyal friend has other ideas. The Wolf is as grim and implacable as death itself. And he never forgets a promise.
Brodar Kayne has been trapped in a wicker cage for a year. Once the Shaman’s champion, he disobeyed the orders of the immortal ruler and his master and the consequences, the punishment has been his imprisonment meant to beat him down and break him. Kayne has abided, he has endured the torture but his wife, Mhaira has just been burnt on a pyre before his eyes. Of his heart, his love his soul there is now nothing left but ash and charred bones.
Left under guard, his soul shattered, his spirit finally crushed, Kayne has curled up to die, to wither away in the confines of the cage. But, concealed by the darkness of night and a snowstorm Jerek fulfils his promise to Kayne.
I’m a big fan of The Grim Company trilogy by Scull and, in particular, the old and grizzled duo of the legendary highland warrior Brodar Kayne and Jerek the Wolf who were two of my favourite characters in the trilogy. Brodar Kayne, once known as ‘the Sword of the North‘ was the greatest swordsman in the North but age and time have caught up with him though he is still a formidable adversary and highly skilled with a blade. He is more calm and measured and someone who offers words of wisdom. While Jerek is angry, blunt, coarse and foul-mouthed with a gruff, surly and bad-tempered countenance. He is someone whose demeanour belies the depth to him as a character. Jerek often has many fucks to give and they are usually accompanied by the bloody blades of his twin axes.
If you haven’t read The Grim Company trilogy then A Ring to Rule Them All serves to whet your appetite and acts as an introduction. Offering you a snapshot of Scull’s work, his writing and a glimpse into the world and a couple of his characters. But, if like me you have read the trilogy then A Ring to Rule Them All adds a little extra detail, depth, emotion and history and it is like being reacquainted with a couple of old friends, even if only for a quick visit.
Those who have read the trilogy already knew that Kayne, with the help of Jerek, escaped from his prison, from the Shaman and that is why the pair were heading south in The Grim Company, to evade the Shaman and his wrath. With A Ring to Rule Them All Scull gives us a prequel, a short that precedes The Grim Company and with it, he gives us the chance to witness the escape first-hand and to see the events as they unfolded on that fateful and snowy night.
Even though A Ring to Rule Them All is only 20 pages in length, it is as gritty and grim as ever and I enjoyed it immensely.
Purchase A Ring to Rule Them All (A Grim Company Short Story).
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